History of Mistletoe: Why is it the Kissing plant?

December 14, 2018

HISTORY OF MISTLETOE We’ve mentioned previously that mistletoe was prominent in the traditions of the Druids and the lore of northern Europe. The Druids used the mistletoe of their sacred oak as part of their ritual five days after the new moon following the Winter Solstice. In the Middle Ages, it was hung from ceilings or placed above stable and house doors to drive off evil spirits and to ensure fertility. Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that grows on trees. Phoradendron flavescens or Viscum album sends its roots into the tree’s bark and derives its nutrients from the tree itself,…

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History of Santa Lucia: Luciadagen — St. Lucy’s Day

December 13, 2018

History of Santa Lucia. Who is St Lucy and how does Sweden’s Luciadagen relate to Sicily? #HistoryOfTheHolidays

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History of the Poinsettia: The Christmas Flower

December 12, 2018

History of the Poinsettia: the history of the “Christmas flower” from its origin in Mexico to its popularity in the US. #HistoryOfTheHolidays

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History of the Christmas Star: Natural or supernatural?

December 11, 2018

HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR The Star of Bethlehem has puzzled scholars for centuries. Some have skeptically dismissed the phenomenon as a myth, a mere literary device to call attention to the importance of the Nativity. Others have argued that the star was miraculously placed there to guide the Magi and is therefore beyond all natural explanation. Most, however, take a middle course which looks for some historical explanation for the Christmas star. Several interesting theories have been offered. History The Greek term for star in the Gospel account, “aster,” can mean any luminous heavenly body, including a comet, meteor,…

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History of King Herod: Why was he called Great?

December 10, 2018
herod boston

History of King Herod: Why was he called Great?

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History of A Charlie Brown Christmas

December 9, 2018

HISTORY OF A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on CBS TV as a 30-minute animated Christmas special written by Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. The comic was hugely popular at the time when the TV special debuted on December 9, 1965. Though this was not Shulz’ first TV special — that would be 1963’s “A Boy Named Charlie Brown”– nor the last, it would become the most enduring. It is a staple of holiday viewing today, and Christmas is not complete without gathering the family and friends around the TV to watch it. San…

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History of the 12 Days of Christmas: They’re after Christmas?

December 7, 2018

THE HISTORY OF THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS The Twelve Days of Christmas are the dozen days in the liturgical calendar of the Western Church between the celebration of the birth of the Christ Child (Christmas Day, December 25) and the coming of the Wise Men, or Magi, to visit at his house in Bethlehem (Epiphany, January 6). The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates during Epiphany rather than Christmas Day. In Hispanic and Latin American culture, January 6th is observed as Three Kings Day, or simply the “Day of the Kings.” Question 1 Aren’t the Twelve Days of Christmas the days before Christmas,…

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History of Santa Claus: Saint or Elf?

December 6, 2018

HISTORY OF SANTA CLAUS December 6 is “Saint Nicholas Day.” The name Santa Claus is a kind of a contraction for Saint Nicholas, the German name Sankt Nikolaus can be pronounced San’t(a) ni-KLOuse (sounding like house.) Origin He was born in the 3rd century, perhaps in A.D. 270. He became a bishop in Greece and gained distinction in the councils of the church. He was especially famed for unexpected gifts and later associated with the giving of presents during the season at the end of the year. “I am Nicholas, a sinner, Nicholas, servant of Christ Jesus.”  the old saint would say. He was…

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History of the Christmas Tree

December 5, 2018

HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE It is generally believed that the first Christmas tree was of German origin dating from the time of St. Boniface, English missionary to Germany in the 8th century. He replaced the sacrifices to the Norse god Odin’s sacred oak — some say it was Thor‘s Thunder Oak — by a fir tree adorned in tribute to the Christ child. The legend is told that Boniface found a group of “pagans” preparing to sacrifice a boy near an oak tree near Lower Hesse, Germany. He cut down the oak tree with a single stroke of his…

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History of Mistletoe: Why is it the Kissing plant?

December 14, 2018

HISTORY OF MISTLETOE We’ve mentioned previously that mistletoe was prominent in the traditions of the Druids and the lore of northern Europe. The Druids used the mistletoe of their sacred oak as part of their ritual five days after the new moon following the Winter Solstice. In the Middle Ages, it was hung from ceilings…

Read More

History of Santa Lucia: Luciadagen — St. Lucy’s Day

December 13, 2018

History of Santa Lucia. Who is St Lucy and how does Sweden’s Luciadagen relate to Sicily? #HistoryOfTheHolidays

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History of the Poinsettia: The Christmas Flower

December 12, 2018

History of the Poinsettia: the history of the “Christmas flower” from its origin in Mexico to its popularity in the US. #HistoryOfTheHolidays

Read More

History of the Christmas Star: Natural or supernatural?

December 11, 2018

HISTORY OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR The Star of Bethlehem has puzzled scholars for centuries. Some have skeptically dismissed the phenomenon as a myth, a mere literary device to call attention to the importance of the Nativity. Others have argued that the star was miraculously placed there to guide the Magi and is therefore beyond all…

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History of King Herod: Why was he called Great?

December 10, 2018

History of King Herod: Why was he called Great?

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